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How to accept credit card payments with your phone: Reviews of Square vs Intuit's GoPayment

Updated on September 12, 2012

On-line purchasing is different than face to face

 Accepting payments on line is a lot easier than it was just a few years ago.  Amazon payments and Paypal have really made things easy with payment integration but they have a fairly high cost.  One of the reasons they charge close to 4% of the sale, is the risk factor.

On-line purchases are riskier than in person purchases because they are annonymous.  Think in terms of your local dress shop.  When you go into the store and make a purchase, you give them your credit card, they swipe a machine with it and then you sign a piece of paper.  Theoretically they turn over your card and verify that the signatures match.  The likely hood of you making a claim that you never made this purchase is far less than if you were billed for a dress that you ordered on-line with an email address.  Because of the higher risk, you are charged a higher rate for the convenience of accepting credit cards.



How to Accept Credit Card Payments on your Phone

One of my sources of income is a teeth whitening service. In the past, if a client wanted to pay me by credit card, i would send them an invoice through Paypal. Now I have two new options.

Square charges 2.7% with no minimum sales per month and no monthly fee. The reason I can get this rate, is I have a free card reader mailed to me by Square. If I lose it, or want to accept a payment by phone, i can manually enter a credit card number and the rate will go up to 3.7% +13 cents.

Another option I have is Go Payment by Intuit. They have two different pricing structures depending on how much you plan to accept. The low volume plan is nearly identicle to Square at 2.7% but if you accept more than $1,000 a month, they recommend the high-value plan which will only cost you 1.7% plus a $12.95 fee. Both plans charge an extra percent when the card is swiped. Go Payment also offers you a free card reader for signing up.

Review of Square Credit Card Reader

 I have used Square twice now.  Once was to accept a cash payment.  I didn't get charged for the payment but it calculated the tax and sent my customer a receipt. 

I like the reports that it offers but I have to use two separate transactions on my Android phone to list individual items seperately.  If I had an IPad I could use Square Register and move icons over without having to type any description in.

I'm not completely won over by Square and here is why.  The very first time I used the card, my customer gave me their debit/credit card.  Somehow, thier checking account listed my charge but also two identical pending transactions on their account.  I don't know which bank it was my client used, but they insisted that I could get her money back for her right away.  It was then, that I discovered Square does not have a telephone listed anywhere.

On Sunday morning I drafted a desperate email to Square explaining that my customer now had $600 unavailable in their checking account.  Sunday evening I received a nice response, but this did not apease my customer.  It was not until Tuesday evening that Square faxed something over to my customer's bank asking them to release the funds.

Although there was no phone number, they did have a quick response time in email.  I'm not entirely convinced that this problem was Square's problem, but it would have been nice to talk to someone on the phone.

Review of Go Payment

 Go payment is just as easy to use as Square, but has less choices of which types of phones you can use it with.  The option to pay a monthly fee and pay less per transaction is a nice one for businesses with a lot of volume.  My credit card volume is not very high because I still have a lot of cash paying customers.

Intuit offers an 800 line to ask questions but they are huge.  You can literally get lost on their website with all the offerings they have for small businesses.  It makes me leary. My concern is that they will do the bait and switch, luring you in with a free reader and great rates, then snapping it all away once your business has grown.

Why I'll Stay with Square

 I am part of a growing trend of helping out the little guy.  If Square is huge, they do a good job of hiding it. They have a timely response rate, and they are simple.

I will warn my customers not to use a debit card, and watch to see that I don't have any more issues.

Have you ever needed to take a credit card in person?


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    • profile image

      Oscar Gastaudo 

      5 years ago

      My worst experience ever with a credit card processing agent. I charged $1,910.07 for services rendered to one of my best foreign national customers to his foreign national credit card, with his authorization; of course.

      Intuit/ closed my account because I was so risky for them due above charge. Until this point it is fine, if they do not want me as a client nothing that I can do.

      They never paid me that charge but they took it from my client's account. I called my customer asking for my payment and I was said he will not pay twice because money was taken from his account and he forwarded me a credit card statement showing that charge at his credit card. Of course he must not pay twice same charge.

      I called gopayment for fourth time and I was said that they have that money and my client must dispute that charge at his local overseas bank.

      My client is asking me why he should dispute a charge when he authorized me to charge it.

      My client is upset on my because this headache, he is busy and he must lie to dispute a charge that he shouldn't, Intuit/gopayment customer service has treated me as fraud guru over the phone and I did not get my fee paid.

      They closed my account and they yell on me over the phone.

      My records: never at the police station for any reason, my Fico score is 817 and in my own business sine 1997.

      Intuit customer service representatives are from the forth world. They do not even match the third world.

      Dissapointed with them? More that that. I think they did not know what they do.

      My sales rep Steve has been great all the time. Of course, he is in the sales department.

      Don't be fooled. Don't not sign with these people.

    • frugalfamily profile imageAUTHOR

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Thanks for the update Jeffery. Some real Paypal fans won't worry about funds going into their account because they use the paypal credit card to gain instant access to those funds. More than ever people are going out of their way to avoid Paypal and its difficult customer service.

      I would interested in either of the new funds you mentioned if only I could find a product people wanted to purchase!

    • Jeffrey Poehlmann profile image

      Jeffrey Poehlmann 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I just posted some updates to my hub on mobile processing and saw that there were additional comments here, so I thought I would address them. First, PayPal does look like it wants to be a competitor of Square, promising to make funds available in your account within hours. This sounds great, until you realize it is only in your PayPal account, not your actual bank account, which will generally take another four days to move your funds into. Additionally, the PayPal rates are as high as Square's if not higher. I have their service as a "beta tester" and so far it seems about the same as what Square offers on the basics. The only advantage I see is that PayPal has an encrypted card reader, which Square still does not.

      On the other side of things, PhoneSwipe has become more competitive by removing the transaction fee on qualified charges (which may include rewards cards if set up properly but this is not the default setting - so have a sales rep do it correctly for you). They still are a better choice for about 90% of the merchants out there who want no contract of any kind or no monthly fees. Although I have not reviewed it, I am also working with a product called Payment Jack that I know a number of merchants are using. It is lighter on features, but the pricing is very reasonable for merchants who definitely process every month and who don't want long-term contracts. Otherwise, I don't think any of the other competing products are worth looking at right now. Both PhoneSwipe and Payment Jack have live support help and lower rates than either Square or PayPal and both fund into your bank account within 48 hours.

      The industry is changing rapidly it seems. Every few months there are new options on the market. Most of these are third party interfaces with web-based processing through or a similar service, and these are all going to require multiple accounts with additional fees and really are just going to come out more expensive in the end. But every now and again a solid choice comes up. Right now, these are my favorites, but I am going to stay on the lookout for the next revolutionary product.

    • frugalfamily profile imageAUTHOR

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      6 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm sorry to hear you both had trouble. I have never sold more than $500 in a day so I never had those issues. Paypal is advertising that they will now offer a reader also. Paypal, however is notorious for shutting down accounts with large overnight income streams.

    • profile image

      Sam the Man 

      6 years ago

      Hey, sqare h8tr, i was just in a similar pickle. That guy who commented just abouve you has a couple of great hubs on the subject. You should ask him. Seems experienced.

    • profile image

      Square H8tr 

      6 years ago

      I had to search the website for the BS of holding your money for 30days!!! We are a start up home based business that needs the funds deposited ASAP into our account. Well, we just made our first sale in the amount of $2,900. The merch is now gone and we won't get paid for 30 days....We have sent several emails back and fourth and they are asking for everything under the Sun. Even tho we have told them that we are new, they still keep asking for 3 months bank statements. Ummmm...we haven't been in business for 3 months...I finally found a number, not posted on their website, to call them. I will be calling them in the morning. The number is: 415.375.3176. I hope I get resolution to this.

      So, lesson learned...Do NOT accept payments over $700.00 at one time. I am looking at other options at this time. I have a few, just need to do the research and pick one.

      Enough venting....

      Thank you,


    • frugalfamily profile imageAUTHOR

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX

      Thanks for stopping by Jeffrey. I haven't had any other issues and although annoying that I couldn't reach them by phone, Square's support was very good. I don't have a delay in funds because I have less than $1k in sales in one day. I still prefer to use Square because most of my clients pay in cash, and I am not charged a monthly fee.

    • Jeffrey Poehlmann profile image

      Jeffrey Poehlmann 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I was just following up some comments on my similar hub comparing these services and got to thinking about whether you have had any repeat issues with Square like the one you mentioned here. I've heard a lot of people say that one of the main reasons they do not go with Square is because of the lack of phone support (which is odd, since you process on a phone in the first place). Of course, the main reason most people seem to go with Square is the simplicity (and their huge marketing budget creating the biggest brand recognition).

      Most likely, the issue your client had with the hold on their funds was because of a duplicate processing hold placed by Square when you did the transaction. If there is the option for a tip, often the approval is sent through separately from the actual transaction, resulting in a duplicate hold for the same transaction. In most cases, once the "final total" is submitted, the original hold should disappear. This may be a Square specific issue because they are not an established merchant services provider and there are bound to be hiccups in the system.

      Also, you mentioned in the comments section on my hub that you were getting your funds the next day, yet every Square merchant I have discussed this with has a 3 to 4 day lag in funding. It is still faster than taking a check (and more secure), but far slower than your experience. Did you have a special application for the earlier funding? I know that Square does offer a faster funding option, but generally not until a client has been established for some time.


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